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Track helmet ratings

  1. #1
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    Track helmet ratings


    I know the forum has debated different helmet certifications before. Still, many of us were sidelined last year and are only now looking at the state of our track gear to see what needs to be replaced. Sticking to a price high enough to get a safe helmet while recalling how much it sucks to toss an expensive helmet after a low side, I figure its worth asking what the consensus is on mid level track helmets.

    Seems obvious avoiding polycarbonate shell models and sticking with fiber composite construction. Many of the helmets in the $250-$450 range marketed toward track use include an ece 22.05 rating. Much fewer have a Snell rating. Of the Snell helmets most are 2015, not 2020. I haven't owned a non-Snell rated track helmet in forever. Welcome your thoughts on how these ratings compare.

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  2. #2
    Powered by Kurtz theducman's Avatar
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    I was asked once when I first started riding by a salty old veteran rider " how much is your head worth to you"? I still live by that and get the best lid I can afford for racing and the street.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    For a long time I've run a Bell Star as they fit perfect for me. They were good tech and I didn't have a problem spending the money. The RS-1 came along which was as good (a bit heavier) and could be found for 2/3 the cost. Seems like the a lot of helmets today at that level have the ece rating. Trying to understand how they compare but I get what your saying. Spend what's needed.

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    Another independent source for ratings
    https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/

    Let your head shape determine. If you fit most intermediate oval helmets, I'd go for a Shoei RF1200 as the new 1400 came out so you could get the 1200 in the mid $300 now

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  5. #5
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    Did a bit of research after looking into what 6D has been doing with helmet technology. They have posted 3rd party studies showing that the DOT + ECE rating is the best. Saying the main issue with SNELL and others is that they build a helmet to rigid causing too much acceleration to the brain.

    "Since the function of a motorcycle helmet is to reduce impact-caused
    acceleration of the head, it stands to reason that one should choose a helmet
    that minimizes peak acceleration. This topic was well illuminated in Motorcyclist
    magazine (Ford, 2005). Motorcyclists are the fortunate beneficiaries of
    significant improvements in helmet performance in the last decade. However,
    helmets qualified to DOT and DOT+ECE provide better protection as measured
    in these laboratory tests than helmets qualified to BSI and Snell." https://www.6dhelmets.com/wp-content...-standards.pdf

    I'm trying to find another link to a study I found where they tested a bunch of football, motocross, motorcycle helmets. The summary was that helmets with newer technology ( Bell Flex, And 6d ) showed a fair amount of reduction in energy to the head as well compared to more original designs with just fiberglass and EPS.

    All interesting stuff and I'd like to see where it goes in the future. The research is hard to ignore when you look into it. I've never held a 6D and the Bell Flex never fit me right. I know Scorpion has some decent helmets priced in that range that meet DOT-ECE standards but I've owned one either. Fit is obviously huge as well. Best of luck with the search dude

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  6. #6
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ1991 View Post
    Did a bit of research after looking into what 6D has been doing with helmet technology. They have posted 3rd party studies showing that the DOT + ECE rating is the best. Saying the main issue with SNELL and others is that they build a helmet to rigid causing too much acceleration to the brain.

    "Since the function of a motorcycle helmet is to reduce impact-caused
    acceleration of the head, it stands to reason that one should choose a helmet
    that minimizes peak acceleration. This topic was well illuminated in Motorcyclist
    magazine (Ford, 2005). Motorcyclists are the fortunate beneficiaries of
    significant improvements in helmet performance in the last decade. However,
    helmets qualified to DOT and DOT+ECE provide better protection as measured
    in these laboratory tests than helmets qualified to BSI and Snell." https://www.6dhelmets.com/wp-content...-standards.pdf

    I'm trying to find another link to a study I found where they tested a bunch of football, motocross, motorcycle helmets. The summary was that helmets with newer technology ( Bell Flex, And 6d ) showed a fair amount of reduction in energy to the head as well compared to more original designs with just fiberglass and EPS.

    All interesting stuff and I'd like to see where it goes in the future. The research is hard to ignore when you look into it. I've never held a 6D and the Bell Flex never fit me right. I know Scorpion has some decent helmets priced in that range that meet DOT-ECE standards but I've owned one either. Fit is obviously huge as well. Best of luck with the search dude
    It has been a very long time since I've dug in, but this was my consensus back in the day. I've always purchased ECE for this purpose and avoided SNELL. Could be dated at this point, worth a refresh.

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  7. #7
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    For me the key now is to get the newer MIPs or 6D type tech. Many have it, some don't. I'm not buying any helmets without even again.

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  8. #8
    Lifer oVTo's Avatar
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    That's a great article, but it's a little outdated (2006).

    In 2005, Dexter Ford wrote an article for Motorcyclist magazine called "Blowing the Lid Off" with the same argument - that Snell's standards required a helmet that was too stiff and transmitted to much force to the brain. Snell presented a counter-argument for why their standard was better, but then changed the 2010 standard to be more aligned with the 'softer impact material is better' argument.

    I thought Ford's argument was solid position with excellent data to support it, so I avoided Snell until they released their 2010 standard. It's been years since I've gone down the helmet standards rathole, but I'd buy any helmet with either Snell or ECE standard. I have no idea whether the standard has changed much or at all since 2010 other than new stickers.

    As dankatz said already, SHARP seems to be a good resource.

    DOT's standards are OK, but the fact that they're self-certifying is a big problem - you never really know whether your make/model/size was ever tested unless the manufacturer gets caught with a helmet that fails DOT's random testing program.

    Other than the location and shape of the eye-port, I'd buy and use the same helmet on the street or track.

    Paul_E_D makes a good point. That seems to be a leap forward in helmet technology and my future helmets will use it.

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    DanG
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  9. #9
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Track helmet ratings

    You can google the Snell standards.

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